I pursued a career in care following a number of personal tragedies that included losing one of my closest friends to a drunk driver, and the illness and death of several friends and family in quick succession in 2010. Whilst reflecting on the enormity of what had happened that year and processing the sheer number of people I had loved and lost, I came to realise that I didn’t feel like I was giving enough back. I felt like I owed so much to the NHS and all the nurses and doctors who had helped my family and me, and suddenly, everything made sense and I knew what I was supposed to be doing with my life.
I recognised that I couldn't confidently nurse due to the painful reminders of those who had passed. I began investigating other areas of study and Midwifery was the obvious choice for me. I could join families in the happiest times of their lives, while also providing high risk care and support when situations did not follow the expected route.
I completed my degree in 2015, and I believe the clinical skills learned on practice placements built me up to the Midwife I am today. I’m a very visual learner, and you spend 50 percent of the course on placement and the other 50 percent in the classroom. By participating in practice, I could see how all the classwork fit into actual real life Midwifery. You can read a thousand books, but until you participate in your first birth your learning won’t fit into place.
After graduating, I accepted a job at NHS Tayside which enabled me to consolidate my skills as a student and build confidence as a Midwife. Then I took some time out to travel, and in May of 2017 I embarked on my current role as a Midwife in the Antenatal/Postnatal ward of Simpson’s Centre for Reproductive Heath at the Royal Edinburgh Infirmary, where I had did my training as a student. It is lovely to return there, and to work alongside the Midwives who were my mentors as a student. It enables me to reflect on how far I’ve come since graduation.
My advice for students is to take plenty of notes and ask lots of questions on placement – there are no stupid questions. In training, it helped to ensure my notes were structured and easy to access, which also helped when exams were looming. When you’re job hunting, I would recommend keeping abreast of current developments in Midwifery and emergency skills, while keeping in mind how you would want to develop as a Midwife - this will form a large part of your interview and personal statement.
Although I entered Midwifery from a sad point in my life, I have enjoyed every day I have spent being a Midwife. Every day is truly a learning experience, and I am excited to keep learning about this wonderful and rewarding profession.